by Julie HaleJanuary, 2003
After the Plague and Other Stories
One of the masters of American fiction delivers a collection of 16 sharp, original stories, more than half of which appeared in The New Yorker. Boyle showcases his taste for the offbeat in quirky narratives like "Friendly Skies" a disturbing tale of air rage and "She Wasn't Soft," in which a triathlete's kooky boyfriend tries to compensate for his bad behavior by drugging her competition in a race. "After the Plague," the title story, takes place in a post-apocalyptic world populated by a few survivors, two of whom have a calamitous experience together. Other stories in the collection feature topics like abortion and the effects of the Internet on everyday life. Modern and incisive, written with the author's trademark flamboyant style, these stories cut to the quick of contemporary culture.